tv Quadriga - The International Talk Show LINKTV July 22, 2016 7:00am-7:31am PDT
♪ melinda: hello, and welcome to "q"quadriga," where the focus is on turkey as president erdogan seeks to consolidate power following a failed coup. he consolidated power by declaring a state of emergency to enable "the removal of all elements of terrorist organizations" that were involved in the coup. the coupup ielf began last friday when tanks rolled through istanbul and military jets streaked through the sky above ankara. the uprising was quickly halted when thousands of erdogan's supporters followed his call and took to the streets. was this truly, as the president
claimed, a victory for democracy? he has moved quickly to initiate what he calls "essential cleansing" ordering the arrest of thousands, purging the military and academia. our question on this edition of "quadriga," turkey coup -- blank check for erdogan? to answer the question, we have invited three guests following events in turkey very closely. it is a pleasure to welcome seda serdar. she says erdogan does not need anyone to give him a blank check. he is doing what he wants. it is a great pleasure to welcome back alan posener. he is a british german commentator at die welt. he says nobody is about to give erdogan a blank check, but demonizing him will help neither turkey nor the west. great to have antje bauer with us, a freelance journalist who has reported on the middle east,
turkey, and afghanistan, and is working with the deutsche welle academy. she says turkey has a new national hero, mr. erdogan. he is as much an image of his ataturk was for his own. so, seda serdar, if this is a blank check, it looks as if mr. erdogan filled it out sometime ago. the list of journalists, officers to be purged, is so detailed and so long. it could not have been compiled in the last week. seda: i agree it could not have been compiled in the last few weeks. last few days, actually. we have to understand erdogan was already looking into the movement and how it was affecting turkey and his government. so with this failed coup, this
was, actually, for him, perfect timing to go after the people he believes are affiliated with the gulen movement. we have to be careful. because many people have been gathered quickly. we really need to know if these people, all of them, are really connected to this coup. how are they c connected? time is going to tell us. it is a little suspicious, i find. melinda: ok. let's come back in a minute to who may or may not have been behind the coup. antje, staying with the current situation, as the coup was unfolding, there was a astonishing degree of unanimity between supporters of the akp, opposition members of parliament, even the country's cultural and intellectual elite, saying we need to preserve democracy. we need to defeat this coup.
what is the situation now among those who are not direct supporters of erdogan's party? antje: the interesting thing was, as the coup happened, there was a certain unanimity. not of everybody, obviously. there was a minority with the military. but there was a large unanimity about preserving a sort of democratic system. i doubt talking about democracy, today's turkey. turkey has lived through four coups, three official and one hidden. nothing good comes out of coups, military coups. the situation after this is that we see polarization which existed in the turkish population before this is getting stronger and stronger
now. i would say that, after this military coup attempt, there was a second coup which is being implemented right now and which is working. obviously, there is a part of the population that does not agree with this. in fact, that atmosphere of fear and people frightened, many people thinking about leaving the country because of the actual situation. melinda: is that something you also hear from contacts that you have in turkey, that people are afraid and wonder if they maybe next on the list? seda: some people are afraid. they do not know what to expect. recently, the president said this will not affect fundamental rights. we have to wait and see if that is the case. we know now with this state of emergency, there is going to be a lot of restrictions. restriction of travel.
people who are thinking about traveling might not be able to. there will be searches on the streets. they will ask for id's. itit is going to be a different turkey. we have to wait and see. melinda: alan, there were lots of calls from powers outside turkey as the coup was unfolding to preserve what they referred to as "democracy in turkey." hasn't democracy been disappearing for quite some time there? i have heard critical voices saying erdogan was in the midst of carrying out his own coup. alan: you have to look where these voices are coming from. i mean, to say that democracy has not been there for some years is assuming that, before erdogan, there was a democracy and there was not. the deep state existed, the generals existed. means if turkey goes in
a direction we do not like, we will stage a coup. they have done this repeatedly. kemalism means a nonreligious caste ruling over a muslim population. that was unsustainable. erdogan did away with that. most people, most observers felt turkey under erdogan was moving towards democracy, not away from it. wereurse, kemalists screaming, it is the end of democracy. it was the end of the deep state, the end of the ability of generals to stage a coup when things were not moving as they wanted. that was a good thing. the question is, will the deep state be replaced by an a.k. deep state? i think we need to wait and see. that would be a terrible thing. melinda: kemalism is a reference
to the separatist republic established by mustafa kemal ataturk almost a century ago. the military has seen itself as a pillar of that order. this time, the coup failed. as mentioned, there have been previous coups that succeeded. this one failed. do the events of this past week deal a crippling blow to the military and the old secularist order? >> for decades, the turkish army has guaranteed a separation of church and state in turkey. it also plays a major economic role in the country. it is a shareholder in companies and banks. this was the fifth time the military has intervened since the republic was founded in 1923. the army always stepped in when leaders decided the state doctrine was in danger. the four previous coups succeeded.
there have been worries another could happen ever since erdogan's akp party assumed power in november of 2002. and the party feared it, too. many top figures in the army have been replaced over the years. hundreds of other military figures arrested. the latest coup attempt failed. is the power of the turkish army broken for good? melinda: what do you think? is that power broken for good? is the army no longer in the role it has so long been seen in in turkey? seda: the people that attempted this coup, it would be wrong to characterize it as the turkish army. this is different from the other coups. it is a small group of people in the army. it is dangerous to say the turkish army was responsible for this.
having said that, of course, with the akp government, the role of the army has started slowly changing, complying with eu regulations, trying to make turkey more democratic. the role did change over the years. at least with this state of emergency, the governors of turkey right now are going to decide what the army is going to do. we are going to see after the emergency state is over how the army is going to be functioning, if it is still going to be functioning as it used to. is it going to be connected with the defense department on those changes? we still do not know. melinda: antje bauer, are we seeing the end of kemalism, that secularist model, but also the end of erdogan's phase of democracy?
antje: i think erdogan's phase of democracy has finished. i agree when he started governing, he was introducing a sort of democracy not known in turkey. he gave a voice to muslim parts of the population that did not agree with the secular elite, mainly sitting in the west of the country and saw themselves more as european and looked down to these poor people who are muslim. in the beginning, i sympathized with erdogan. this has changed some years ago. he has started being more autocratic. i think the democratic phase of what he did has finished about three years ago, four years ago. he is looking more and more like a dictator.
this is a good opportunity now to do whatever he wants, take over the power where he had not had it until now. melinda: that would take us back to the blank check idea. alan, where do you think the blank check could lead? do you expect turkey to become an outright islamic republic? alan: that is the question. if so, he is attacking the wrong people. the gulen movement he is accusing of being behind this plot, are conservative muslims. they have infiltrated, no doubt about that. if you wanted to establish an islamic republic, you would use them. if you use the state against gulen, he is undermining any hope of establishing an islamic republic.
it boils down to a semi-dictatorship that turkey has known so often. mr. erdogan will be more dependent on the military than if he had been together with mr. gulen. it is an unclear situation as far as islam is concerned. melinda: let's recall the movement that alan posener just mentioned, established by the islamist cleric, fethullah gulen. his followers have set up p a network of schools the turkish president claims are associated with the coup attempt. he blamemes gulen personally for the attempt. interestingly enough, the two were once allies. now, mr. erdogan is seeking extradition of mr. gulen from the united states, where he had taken up residence some years
ago, saying mr. gulen's organization has infiltrated schools and many other institutions in turkey as well. how far do you think president erdogan is likely to go to try to root out this conspiracy, as he calls it, and how far do you think the gulen movement actually reaches? seda: a tough question for anyone to answer. experts that have been researching the gulen movement for years, they are also clear that this was an attempt made by the gulelen movement. talking about turkey becoming more islamic, and if the gulen movemement should be a partner, they were a partner. that is how they got rid of the
secular generals that were in jail for so many years that are now out. it does not exist anymore, a trial used to get rid of the secular generals. it is hard to say how deep gulen was involved, but it is not a conspiracy that it exists. melinda: antje bauer, the united states government says it has received documents from turkey that purport to include evidence that gulen was involved. what is your take on all of this? do you think he is behind what we saw last week? if so, should he be extradited even if he maybe faces the death penalty? antje: it is difficult to prove something like this. i do not know if he is behind it. he denied it.
i think what is being played is a power game. as you said before, they were once friends. they separated. since then, gulen is the outspoken enemy of mr. erdogan. i think the point is that there is a power play inside the system of the turkish system. in turkey, they talk about the parallel state, which the gulen movement has built up. they built it up together, gulen's people and erdogan's people. now there is a power game, if the gulen people are still there or if erdogan manages to replace all these gulen people with his own people. it is not a question of ideology. both of them say they are moderate islamist muslims,
political muslims. the difference is power play, i think. the question is not so much should he be extradited. what did he do exactly? it is more about what is going on. how much state will remain? they politicized everything. that is the main problem, i think. the state of law is getting zero. it has become less and less in the last year. they are eliminating what remains. melinda: now, interestingly enough, threats from gulenists, putsch-ists, are by no means the only threat the government is facing. they have resumed hostility with kurdish militants in the southeast, and it is facing attacks from islamic state. the west has been depending on turkey as a partner as it seeks to fight i.s. and contain the stream of migrants from the middle east.
will turkey remain a dependable partner? >> incirlik air base plays a key role in military operations against i.s. now severaral turkish militatary officers there have been arrested, accused of taking part in a coup attempt. german mp's have been denied access to german soldiers stationed at incirlik. is the country still a reliable partner in the alliance? turkey is considering the reintroduction of the death penalty. that is a redline for the eu. >> no country can become a member state if it introduces that penalty. that is very clear. >> will this turn european sentiment against turkey's bid for membership? erdogan is in a powerful bargaining position with the refugee crisis. is europe dependent on turkey? melinda: alan, how concerned
should the west be about a destabilized turkey? will all the various things now being said by western leaders make any difference at all to erdogan? alan: we need to stabilize turkey. it is the only stable state except for israel in thehe regi. it is an ally, member of nato. we are totally dependent on them to keep order there. he has more influence on us than we have on them. the fact we are negotiating membership means we can say, if you do this, you will not get in. melinda: does he care? alan: he says he cares. as long as he does not break up negotiations, we should not. melinda: seda, one of the sad statements that i have heard repeatedly from people in turkey is that turkey has become a country much like all the other
countries in the region -- unstable, autocratic. do you think that it is right? seda: it is a very sad statement. i believe it is going in that direction. but turkey is different from the other countries in the region. there is, of course, the danger for it to fall in that pit, if you will. turkey has to be careful. the eu also has to be very careful. the eu played its cards wrong with the refugee deal. they ignored everything turkey was doing against human rights, fundamental rights. they f focused on the e refugee issue. melinda: what should the eu change right now? seda: that is a million-dollar question. melinda: they have the eu over a barrel. the eu relies on turkey. turkey has millions of refugees in its country. if it were t to open the gates, the flow starts again. seda: it does. the eu has to be careful.
the best thing the eu can n do s show support. what they can do right now is, at the same time while showing support, promoting democracy, they should be careful and watch what is happening. melinda: would you agree the west has, in a sense, given turkey a blank check in the past? if so, what check should they issue now? antje: the influence of the west is small right now. in fact, everybody in turkey knows that there is no eu membership in the middle term. maybe not in the long-term. they are aware of this. i think the popularity of europe has decreased very much in the last year. i think the influence is very small. i agree with what seda said. the eu has to talk to them, try to ask them to respect the state of law. there is not much more we can do.
seda: i think saying we are going to stop negotiations, that is the wrong move. alan: we need to demand proof that gulen was behind it. if it is conceivable that gulen tried a coup against an elected government, we have a problem. there are lots of gulen schools in europe and africa. this needs to be proved beyond the shadow of a doubt. if it cannot be proved, we need to demand the release of all these people that have been arrested. if it can be proved, we need to look at what is going on in our own countries. this is key. melinda: is that a plausible scenario to you? if the eu or u.s. were to say, we have seen the evidence. we are not convinced. you need to release those people. would it happen, seda?
seda: i do not think that would happen. alan: you do think we should definitely look. seda: definitely, definitely. i believe the evidence should be open, should be transparent. that is what the eu should focus on, understanding who these people are. are they getting a fair trial? i believe that is the key. and the government argues that they have the evidence, that they have sent it to the u.s. the u.s. is saying they have not gotten official demand yet. it is a very tricky situation. gulen is in pennsylvania on a farm. it is a very well-guarded location. it is a big topic. melinda: antje, i mentioned the eu being over a barrel. the u.s. is eager to prosecute the war against i.s., using the airbase in the report. its commanding officer is among those who have been purged.
does the u.s. have interest in getting tough with turkey? antje: the problem is there are anti-american slogans in turkey being voiced. high officials of the government also said that the fact that there were leaders of the base who were involved in the coup attempt, it means the americans are behind it. i do not think thehe americans have much leverage. seda: turkey also needs nato. we should not forget that. turkey is fighting i.s. they have the kurdish rebels, or as they prefer, terrorist organization, at the same time. we have all these generals that have been arrested. turkey really needs nato as well. melinda: could that help
moderate that blank check, alan? perhaps get some kind of negotiations going? alan: i guess it could. in the past, nato has not cared whether turkey was a democracy or not. nato dealt with whoever was in power. it mostly was generals and so on. i wish nato would be very tough on this. i fear the eu does not have negotiating power. i wish they would do that. melinda: many thanks to all of you for being with us on this look at the turmoil in turkey. thank you for tuning in. see you soon. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnaxx
>> this week, global 3000 heads to thailand, where environmentalists are fighting to reinstate mangrove forests in disused breeding ponds on the island of koh klang. we go to chile, where a dramatic algae plague has destroyed millions of a a creares,s, a left fishehermen fighting for their livelihoods. but first, we're in pakistan. minimum wages, employee rights? not in pakistan's brick factories. here, people are modern-day slaves. despite a worldwide ban on slavery, estimates suggest there are 45 mon